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Born in Glasgow, Jessica Stirling is the author of many heartwarming novels, most of which have Scottish backgrounds. She (or rather he ) has enjoyed a highly successful career since THE SPOILED EARTH was published in 1974.
The war everyone dreaded has begun at last, but for Susan Cahill it is more an adventure than a tragedy. Helped by a white lie about her marriage to Danny, she has a new job as a producer's assistant at the BBC, and glamorous new friends, including one American war reporter who has made London his base and Susan his target. Danny is also working for the BBC, sharing a room in a freezing farmhouse in Evesham, working long hours monitoring German radio broadcasts--and worrying about Susan. Stuck in London when the blitz begins, Susan's sister-in-law, Breda Hooper, faces up to the worst with a small son at home and a husband in the fire service. Then her Italian father, hiding out from both the authorities and his former partners in crime, prepares to leave Breda a legacy as explosive as any German bomb.
The Second World War hits home to a scattered East End family in new and unexpected ways in the third volume of this series about Britain under siege. Susan Cahill enjoys her job at the BBC until a bomb destroys the building and brings unwelcome responsibilities and an autocratic new boss, Walter Boscombe. He has no time for ambitious young women from Shadwell and seems determined to break Susan's spirit - and her heart. Breda Hooper, Susan's widowed sister-in-law, and her small son are rescued from the East End's shattered docklands by Danny, Susan's estranged husband. Settled in a shabby caravan in the Vale of Evesham, Breda soon finds herself entangled in village affairs in more ways than one, with only her quick wits, her new friends and the ever dependable Danny to keep her out of trouble. For Susan and Breda jeopardy comes not from the skies but in the terrible price each must pay for falling in love with men who are not all that they seem to be and who, even in the midst of all out war, will change their lives forever.
Since the dawn of time, the Isle of Mull, off the Scottish coast, has had to fend off ferocious winds and a ravenous ocean intent on swallowing the island whole. Roughened by ceaseless storms and chill, Mull remained a quiet community, set in its ways, with almost no fodder for town gossip, as the nineteenth century drew to a close. Until, that is, new blood moved in, setting the local Campbell sisters, Innis and Biddy, against each other in all-out war for the love of the same newcomer, Michael Tarrant.But just as the passage of time changes slightly the cragged hills of Mull, so does it soften hearts to reconciliation: the two sisters realize their bond is too thick for a man to sever. For Innis, marriage to Michael Tarrant turned out far from idyllic: he fled to seek life outside Mull, leaving Innis to raise their children. Biddy, too, has married, but still yearns for the happiness that has always slipped through her fingers. Although it has taken sixteen years for life to return to a semblance of what it was before the Tarrants arrived, something is still amiss. Then a pregnant woman's arrival on the island turns any countryside serenity on its head. Loathed by some, loved by others, and feared as an ill omen by still others, this Fay Ludlow embodies the changes due to fall upon Mull. The winds of change at her back will bring with them ghosts of a past buried too soon in Jessica Stirling's The Strawberry Season.
Jessica Stirling continues the epic of love, greed and betrayal that began in The Island Wife in her magnificent novel, The Wind from the Hills.For Innis and Biddy, daughters of the embittered Vassie Campbell, life has changed greatly from the days when they were poor crofters. Innis, the mother of three young children, has found that marriage to handsome Michael Tarrant is utterly different from the idyll she expected. And Biddy has become only too accustomed to being a wealthy widow who keeps herself aloof from both the life she once knew and her dead husband's family.But though the sisters' lives seem set, they are destined to change once more. For Innis, a temptation to a better life may have to come too late--and for Biddy, courted by an ardent new suitor, happiness may have come at last.Set against the background of an island off the coast of Scotland that is being forced half-willingly into a new era, the story of the two very different sisters and their very different longings is one of the most memorable that Jessica Stirling has created.
Jessica Stirling's Glasgow comes to scintillating life in The Piper's Tune, a story of love and fortune set in Edwardian Scotland.Lindsay Franklin's life is an adventure she has just begun to enjoy. At eighteen, Arthur Franklin's cosseted daughter has left her Glasgow school and finds her role as a marriageable young lady with a widowed father more than agreeable. And the source of her family's wealth, the Franklins' shipbuilding yard on Clydeside, is prospering as the long peace of Queen Victoria's reign gives way to the feverish arms race of the new century.But Lindsay's life takes an unexpected turn when she is given a share of the family business. Equally unexpected is the appearance of Forbes McCullough, her charming Irish cousin whose attentions she secretly welcomes. To everyone's surprise, Lindsay decides to master the family business as carefully as her male cousins. What is not surprising is that several eligible men have decided that it is time to master Lindsay.As the mysteries of shipbuilding open to her, and the puzzle of male behavior becomes both more fascinating and more dangerous, Lindsay is forced to make some fateful decisions.
In Jessica Stirling's Prized Possessions, Lizzie Conway has clawed her way out of the slums despite the crippling debt left behind by a long-vanished husband. To give her three daughters a better life, Lizzie sacrifices her own chance of happiness to break the endless round of poverty that engulfs them. But as the girls grow up, Lizzie is unable to protect them from the biggest threat of all--falling in love with men like their father.
There are four Conway women: indomitable Lizzie, who endures despite everything that life in Glasgow can throw at her, and Lizzie's three daughters, each one combining Lizzie's iron will with her own ambitions and desires.Now, as the 1930s draw to a close and war threatens, each sister struggles with her life and loves. Polly lives in luxury as the wife of the overprotective Dominic Manone, while Babs has her hands full with her demanding brood and her fast-talking husband. Only Rosie seems to have found peace in Shelby's Bookshop...until a young policeman comes around. While Polly seeks distraction in a dangerous affair, her husband is drawn into a venture involving a sinister go-between, a beautiful and amoral blond, and an unimaginable fortune.As the web of suspicion and deceit tightens around Dominic, Polly finds herself threatened from all sides until she is finally forced to make difficult choices about her sisters, her husband, and her own unfulfilled desires.Set in Edwardian Scotland, against the vibrant streets of Glasgow on the brink of war, Sisters Three is Jessica Stirling's most exciting and passionate romance to date.
The marriage of Sylvie and Gowry McCulloch was not made in heaven and has gone through difficult times. Settled now in Dublin, they have a daughter, Maeve, whom they both love dearly. Sylvie presides over the respectable Shamrock Hotel while Gowry is a driver for Flanagan's bus company.When Francis Hagarty explodes into their lives, however, everything changes. Fran is a journalist and gunrunner and hides a shipment of smuggled arms in the Shamrock. Gowry discovers it and, sensing danger, is furious. But Sylvie has already fallen in love with Fran and is soon swept into an illicit affair. Trapped in a tangle of subversion that he has resisted all his life, Gowry is forced to flee Dublin and becomes caught up in the war in Europe. As Gowry struggles to survive the horrors of trench warfare in France and Sylvie and precocious daughter Maeve are drawn into the Easter Uprising at home, the family's future hinges on heartbreaking choices, any one of which may lead to tragedy for all of them.
As Glasgow waits for enemy bombers to reach Clydeside and the German invasion to begin, Lizzie Conway's daughters throw themselves wholeheartedly into the war effort and eagerly accept their roles as working wives in Jessica Stirling's enthralling new novel set in the darkest days of the Second World War.With her husband in the army, mother-of-four Babs sends three of her darlings to the country and goes back to work long hours in an office. Her comfortable routine is disrupted, however, when a charming American news photographer insinuates himself into her life, an American who may not be all that he seems.Rosie's job as a skilled factory worker is marred by the taunts of her cruel and snobbish coworkers. Eager to start a family but fearful that she might pass her deafness to her children, she blames her ambitious policeman husband for her desperate unhappiness and risks not only her marriage but her future because of it.Wealthy and self assured, Polly continues to manage her husband's shady empire, trying to forget that her children have been stolen from her and now live with their father in New York. But Dominic explodes back into her life with a plot that involves the Italian resistance, the OSS, and spiriting a fortune out of Scotland. When the bombs begin to fall, Polly is forced to choose between loyalty and betrayal, and to face up to what truly matters.
Alison Burnside's family have been luckier than most. The poverty of Glasgow in the 1930s has been kept at bay. So far . . .Alison seems content to graduate into marriage with teacher Jim Abbott, until she becomes entangled with fellow student Declan Slater who has an irresistible charm.'Stirling is a wonderful storyteller.' Bookseller'Jessica Stirling's high reputation is well deserved.' Manchester Evening News
The first novel in the trilogy which continues with Creature Comforts and Hearts of Gold, set in Fife from 1814 into the Victorian era. One November night, highlander Gaddy Patterson strays into the staid lowland parish of Balnesmoor, and stumbles upon a dead girl and her baby. Gaddy struggles to scrape a living for herself and the child, and in her struggle against the hatred of the village, she uncovers their long-hidden secrets...Praise for the trilogy:'Stirling skilfully offers her readers a story rich with believable characters and colourful settings.' Best Sellers'Beautifully written - full of the harsh realities and traditional relationships shaping life in early 19th-century Scotland. Highly recommended.' Library Journal
Julie and Anna Martindale have both married artists - but they embark on a reckless spiral of deceit, rivalry and betrayal that ends on a fateful voyage to New York. Handsome, freewheeling Clive Cavendish marries Julie after a whirlwind seduction - and when his ambitious schemes begin to pay off Julie is more than happy to be the wife of an up-and-coming painter and the mother of his children. Anna's husband, Howard Buskin, is rich, moody and reclusive. He prefers painting Dartmoor's brooding landscapes to his beautiful young bride and from the first their uneasy, loveless marriage totters on the brink of crisis. Only when American art collector Teddy Norris enters their lives with a proposal that Howard cannot ignore, and an easy-going charm that sweeps Anna into a tempestous affair, do the sisters begin to question their loyalty to their husbands and to each other. A loyalty that will be tested to the limit on the first, and last, Atlantic crossing of the White Star's new super-liner, the unsinkable Titanic - a voyage not all of them will survive.
The first novel in Jessica Stirling's enthralling saga series is set in 1930s England, where an East End girl with ideas of her own makes a surprising journey from the back streets of Shadwell to the salons of Mayfair. Susan Hooper is private secretary to bestselling author, Vivian Proudfoot. Well-spoken and well-read, she soon learns how to hold her own with London's literary sophisticates. But the attentions of Mercer Hughes, a handsome agent with a notorious reputation and a shady past, are more than a docker's daughter can cope with and she finds herself falling reluctantly in love. She is soon cut off from her father and at loggerheads with her idealistic brother Ronnie and his gadabout wife Breda. Even her old friend, newspaperman Danny Cahill, is shocked at the circles in which Susan finds herself where pimps and gangsters rub shoulders with wealthy fascist sympathisers in support of the war in Spain. As the threat of world war grows Susan is torn between loyalty to her family and a lover who will not let her go. But when the time comes to choose she finds a solution that surprises everyone. Susan's story continues in The Wayward Wife.
Christine Summers is a pretty young teacher in a country school in the 1930s and the apple of more than one man's eye . Christine has no intention of sacrificing her independence to marry anyone, least of all Charley Noonan, the rough-tongued young farmer who has been pursuing her for years. When she meets lonely widower Alan Kelso, however, Christine finds herself falling in love. Alan has also caught the eye of pony breeder Beatty McCall. Passionate, experienced and unscrupulous, Beatty wants is willing to offer him more, it seems, than Christine can ever hope to match. But sometimes all it takes to fall in love is dancing to the Paradise Waltz . . . Rich in tangled affections and intriguing characters, in THE PARADISE WALTZ Jessica Stirling captures all the pain and humour of life a small, gossip-ridden village in the time between two world wars when wireless and the cinema were changing everyone's ideas about romance.
Servant girl Betsy McBride thinks she has as much right as any girl to set her cap at Tom Brodie, the most dashing young man in the district. When her master asks her to help out the Brodie family she jumps at the chance to get a bit closer to him. She doesn't realise that Tom Brodie thinks the only way to save his family's fortune - or at least their farm - is to dazzle his landlord's daughter. There is heartbreak is on the horizon unless Tom's much more down-to-earth brother Henry can catch Betsy's attention.
Glasgow is a city teeming with immigrants, rich and poor, schemers and victims alike. And the McKennas, fresh from Ireland, have no intention of being victims. When Nolan McKenna and his sisters arrived unannounced on Cissie Cassidy's doorstep claiming to be her late husband's long-lost relatives, the lonely widow is all too willing to be taken in and trusting enough to help them find them a foothold in the city. While Nolan wields a shovel for twelve back-breaking hours a day, the beautiful, trusting Clare takes up with the wrong man instead of the collection agent who yearns to make her his bride. Sharp-witted and pretty, Evie is made of more ambitious stuff and uses her job behind the bar of the Harp of Erin to attract the attentions of Russell Blackstock, builder and land-speculator, who owns half the tenements on Clydeside - and plans to own still more. The worlds of the wealthy Blackstocks and the penniless McKennas are set on a collision course that will mean huge changes for them, and for the city they live in.
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